Why did Richard Cory kill himself?

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Richard Cory is envied by the common people he walks past every day and seems to have everything a person could ask for. Richard Cory is an immaculately dressed gentleman, who is refined and polite. The narrator comments that Richard Cory seemed to glitter when he walked and describes him as being "richer than a king." Despite Richard Cory's stately appearance and positive reputation as a consummate gentleman, he abruptly commits suicide on a calm summer night. While the narrator never directly states why Richard Cory kills himself, it is implied that he lives an isolated, empty life. Unlike the working class civilians, who the narrator collectively refers to as "we," Richard Cory travels by himself and seems to sorely lack human interaction. Despite having status and material wealth, Richard Cory lacks valuable relationships and opportunities for social interactions, which make life meaningful. While Richard Cory's reasons for committing suicide may be ambiguous, the poet's message is clear. Material wealth and social status are shallow qualities, which do not give life meaning or value.

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It certainly seems that Edward Arlington Robinson's Richard Cory had everything anyone could ever want. He was "richer than a king" and "glittered when he walked." Yet he went home one day and killed himself. Although he was envied by everyone in the town they did not really know him. When they talk about all the things he has, while they have little, the one thing they never mention is anyone else with him. Cory is lonely; his wealth sets him apart from the rest of the people in his town. Their lifestyles are so different that they do not interact. They are "on the pavement" walking while he is in a fine carriage. There are other interpretations for the reasons both why Cory is so isolated and why he killed himself (see the second link attached below) but the lack of real human interaction is most likely.

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